H.B. 360 – Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS): makes the following changes to the TMRS statute: (1) guarantees an annual interest credit of at least five percent to member accounts; (2) sets the annuity purchase rate for retirees at a minimum of five percent; (3) requires the crediting or charging of income or loss; (4) requires the interest fund to accurately reflect the determination and allocation of net investment income or loss; (4) requires annual determination of net investment income or loss based on generally accepted accounting principles; (5) changes the way money from the interest fund is allocated to other TMRS funds, including giving priority to allocating interest to the current service annuity reserve fund, the supplemental disability benefits fund, the supplemental death benefits fund, and the employee savings fund; (6) provides for adequate reserves to provide reasonable rate stabilization to cities; and (7) deletes the provision allowing for the treatment of certain stock gains as investment income that is added to the interest fund.
H.B. 451 – Mandatory Health Benefit: requires health benefit plans to cover autism in a child up to age nine. (Note: current law requires coverage up to age six.)
H.B. 806 – Mandatory Health Benefit: does the following: (1) requires that health benefit plans provide coverage for prosthetic devices, orthotic devices, and professional services related to the fitting, use, repair, and replacement of those devices; (2) provides that the coverage must equal the coverage provided under federal laws relating to health insurance for the aged and disabled; (3) prohibits annual dollar limits on prosthetic coverage; but (4) allows the health benefit plan to have copays, deductibles, and coinsurance on prosthetic coverage that are the same as those applied to other health conditions.
H.B. 1177 – Legislative Leave: expands the number of cities—from cities of 200,000 or more in population to cities of 50,000 or more in population—in which peace officers and firefighters are eligible for legislative leave under subchapter A of Chapter 614 of the Government Code.
H.B. 1290 – Mandatory Health Benefit: requires the issuer of a health benefit plan to provide up to $200 in coverage for noninvasive tests for the detection of cardiovascular disease every five years for certain at-risk individuals.
H.B. 1960 – Public Safety Pay: requires a city to pay a firefighter or police officer for appearing as a witness at an administrative proceeding in the same manner that a firefighter or police officer would be paid for making an appearance as a witness in a criminal or civil suit.
H.B. 2000 – Mandatory Health Benefit: requires a health benefit plan to provide coverage for amino acid-based elemental formulas (typically formulas for infants and children with food allergies).
H.B. 2068 – Peace Officer Identification Card: requires a law enforcement agency to provide an identification card to any honorably retired peace officer who requests one.
H.B. 2113 – Firefighters: requires a city to “designate” September 11 as a holiday for its firefighters.
H.B. 2360 – Income Tax Information: requires a city to provide to its employees eligibility information relating to the federal earned income tax credit by March 1 of each year. The city must provide the information in person; through e-mail at the employee’s last known e-mail address; through a flyer included, in writing or electronically, as a payroll stuffer; or by mailing the information to the employee at the employee’s last known address by United States first class mail. The bill also requires the state comptroller to provide a form that includes information relating to the federal earned income tax credit for distribution by a city or other employer. Finally, the bill allows the Texas Workforce Commission to adopt rules regarding the information that a city or other employer must provide regarding the federal earned income tax credit.
H.B. 2580 – Police Employment Web Site: does the following: (1) requires the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to develop, maintain, and promote an Internet Web site relating to employment opportunities for police officers; (2) requires the TWC to contract with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) to develop a license verification system to verify whether a police officer is licensed and in good standing; and (3) requires the TWC to enter into a contract with TCLEOSE to operate such a Web site if there are no funds for TWC to do so.
H.B. 2806 – Civil Service Leave: provides that, in a city covered by Chapter 143 of the Local Government Code (fire/police civil service), when a firefighter or police officer who was on a military leave of absence is reinstated and the reinstatement creates a surplus of personnel in the rank in which the returning firefighter or police officer was reinstated, the person with the least seniority in the surplus position must be moved to the position immediately below the position to which the returning firefighter or police officer was reinstated.
H.B. 3001 – Employee Pay: allows a Type A or Type B general law city to consider cost of living and longevity in determining an employee’s salary.
H.B. 4560 – Staph Infection: provides that notice must be given to a firefighter or emergency medical technician who is exposed to methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by a hospital, a local health authority, or by the city as employer. (Note: MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to conventional treatment.)
S.B. 39 – Mandatory Health Benefit: does the following (1) requires that certain health benefit plans provide coverage for health care costs incurred in connection with certain clinical trials for the prevention, detection, or treatment of a life-threatening disease or condition; (2) allows the insurer to subject this coverage to a deductible, coinsurance, or copayment requirement comparable to other deductible, coinsurance, or copayment requirements applicable under the health benefit plan; and (3) prohibits an insurer from cancelling or refusing to renew an insured’s policy solely because an enrollee in the plan participates in a clinical trial.
S.B. 420 – Judge Evaluations: prohibits a city from taking into account the source and amount of municipal court revenue when evaluating a municipal judge’s job performance.
S.B. 461 – Civil Service: requires that individuals taking the entrance exam for a beginning position in a fire department covered by Chapter 143 of the Local Government Code (fire/police civil service) be between eighteen and thirty-six years of age.
S.B. 872 – Health Coverage for Survivors: does the following: (1) requires a city to provide health benefit coverage to the surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty at the same rate paid by current employees (meaning that if the city pays the entire premium, the surviving spouse would pay nothing); (2) allows an eligible survivor up to 180 days to apply for health coverage; (3) requires a city to provide an eligible surviving spouse coverage until the surviving spouse becomes eligible for federal Medicare benefits; (4) requires a city to provide an eligible minor coverage until the minor turns 18; (5) requires the city to provide two notices of eligibility for coverage; (6) includes trainees and training routines to the list of covered “line of duty” deaths that trigger required health benefit coverage for eligible survivors; and (7) gives eligible survivors who did not originally apply for coverage until March 1, 2010, to reapply for coverage.